Fri. Aug. 23, 2019: This N That

Friday, August 23, 2019
Waning Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Saturn Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Rainy and cooler

Yesterday was unpleasant, in terms of weather. Got some work done at the library. Took care of a bunch of stuff.

Quiet afternoon reading. I’m reading both Elaine Viets’s Dead End Job series and her Mystery Shopper series. They’re fun and lively. She balances plot and character well.

Started reading the Wendy Wassersetein biography WENDY AND THE LOST BOYS. I knew her from my NYC days, although she was a few years ahead of me on both years and her career. I admired her work enormously, although I didn’t know her well. But it was a reminder of a lot of that off-Broadway world that nurtured new work from the mid-seventies into the nineties. I knew some of the same people and places. Brings back a lot of memories. It’s always interesting to read another perspective about something you’ve lived.

Up early this morning. Out to run errands. What usually takes me 30 minutes took TWO HOURS because of traffic.

Friends coming in tomorrow for a bit, so I will clean the house — and hopefully not re-injure my hand. I had a great session on ELLA this morning, and look forward to working on both GRAVE REACH and my article this afternoon.

And focusing on GRAVE REACH all weekend. Next week will be a roller coaster.

Have a wonderful weekend!

Thurs. Aug. 22, 2019: Sometimes You Have to Make the Break

Thursday, August 22, 2019
Waning Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Saturn Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Sunny, hot, humid, with incoming storms

If my father was still alive, this would have been his birthday.

Yesterday was okay. Had a decent morning’s work on GRAVE REACH before I headed to my client’s. Had a decent morning’s work on ELLA.

Got a good bit done at my client’s.

The Remote Chat was terrific. I always have such fun with that group.

Stopped at the grocery store, then went home.

Set up an interview with a potential new client near end of day next Tuesday. The company is fairly new, and their work interests me, so we’ll see what happens when we talk.

The Narcissistic Sociopath now claims to be “King of Israel” and the “Second Coming of God”? He’s insane. It’s so infuriating that no one will DO anything to hold him accountable.

Decided to end a friendship because the other person is so toxic in my life. I’ve tried to be a good friend over the years; she’s talented, and I know she’s struggling with mental health issues. But she continues to hurt, attack, stand me up, try to manipulate me all the time. I am done. Her position is that she has mental health issues and therefore can’t be held responsible for what she says or does. She needs to do what she needs to do in the moment to take care of herself, and if lashing out is what she needs to do, then she’s going to do that. She considers it my job to stand there and take it without complaint. Even when it’s behavior I have repeatedly told her is harmful to me. I agree that she has the right to do whatever she needs to. I also have the right not to be her whipping post. Not to constantly be expected to accept the poison and hurt she keeps trying to pour on me. I, too, have the right to take care of myself. We’re done. If her therapist is telling her it’s okay to commit deliberate acts of cruelty toward the people in her life, I have problems with that.

The loss of the good times and her potential and her talent will be mourned; her refusal to take any responsibility for toxic behavior will not.

Today is supposed to be brutally hot and humid, then storms that will break it. I hope that’s true.

I am focusing on my article and on GRAVE REACH today. Had an excellent morning on ELLA. The first draft of ELLA is a mess, all over the place, but I’m loving the process. I have a basic idea of the points I want to hit, but I’m not working from a detailed outline the way I often do.

It’s important to change up the process occasionally, and not get into a rut.

My hand is still bothering me. I have a few hours where I feel better, then a bunch of hours where I don’t. One day at a time, I guess.

Back to the page.

 

Tues. Aug. 20, 2019: Trying to Get Better

Tuesday, August 20, 2019
Waning Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Saturn Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde

Hop on over to A Biblio Paradise to see what I’m doing on The Reader Expansion Challenge.

It took me a few days to adjust to the antibiotic. I’m coping. I think I’m healing.

I spent far too much time the past few days, gobbling down the first three books in Lauren Dane’s GODDESS WITH A BLADE series. Boy, are they good! I have two more to read, and then book 6 comes out in December. It’s a really, REALLY good series.

Read another book, by that author I mentioned last week, about whom I was on the fence. I’m definitely off the fence now, and it’s crossing her off the list. Her protagonist quit a job that was putting her on the path to an outstanding career because her boyfriend didn’t like that she was working with another man. Sorry, that’s not true love. That’s a toxic relationship. Add the character’s constant “tired” to miss major plot points, whining, crying, and relying on men all the time — not the series for me.

Read another book where the premise was good, but the book dripped with so much white woman Southern privilege & adherence to the status quo that it nauseated me. The author is trying to portray his protagonist as a “tolerant” Southern woman. Honey, she’s not. She has flashes of racism (which means she’s racist), she believes it’s not grafting if you cheat someone with less money than she has (but is horrified if someone wealthy gets cheated), and I got way, way, WAY ahead of the plot. Cross that author off my list.

Got the review off to my editor, worked on my article, worked on GRAVE REACH, ELLA, and a little on DEATH OF A BROKEN MAN.

I was not allowed to read Lauren Dane’s book on Saturday until I’d written my quota for the day!

I also got my first Sephora Play! box. I was surprised by the quality of the samples. They are stuff I actually want to try and use. The lipstick is a color I would have never chosen on my own, and it looks great on me (I love lipsticks). There are also some interesting skin care products that I’m trying.

Sunday, I had to hack away some invasive plants and feed the lawn. We were supposed to get storms and rain, but they were wrong. AGAIN. I went out while it was cloudy, and then the sun came out, and I had problems, in spite of slathering on the sunscreen, because of the antibiotic.

Good writing session Monday morning before I had to go onsite with a client. Which was what it was.

A quick trip to the library, then meditation group. Much-needed. Then some work on the article. It’s due next week, but I’d like to get it in a little early. Gmail was down at the library, so things I needed to get done there couldn’t happen. Plus a bunch of uniformed old white men talking politics and showing their ignorance.

This morning, work on ELLA and GRAVE REACH, then onsite with a client and other appointments.

Head down and back to the page.

Fri. Aug. 16, 2019: The Insolence Never Ceases

Friday, August 16, 2019
Last Day of Full Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Saturn Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Sunny and pleasant

I didn’t post on Gratitude and Growth yesterday. Making up for it today, with just a quick post.

I’m on an antibiotic for the infection in my injured finger. It has about 29 possible side effects. Fortunately, I only have three of the minor ones: it makes me a little giddy, I can’t be in direct sunlight (so I’ll just spend 10 days in a dark corner like a vampire), and I’m thirsty all the time. I was shocked at how much direct sunlight HURTS, even with sunscreen.

Other than that, I feel much better.

I always feel odd the first 48 hours on an antibiotic. I don’t take them often, which means when I do, they hit hard. Which is a good thing.

I came home early yesterday and read, rather than tried to do anything else. I finished the book for review (and will work on the review today).

I also read Lauren Dane’s THE GODDESS BLADE. Loved it. I read it straight through in one sitting. I became acquainted with Lauren via Twitter, and we’ve had some good conversations. It was the first chance I had to read something of hers. I’ve already ordered the second book in the series, as my weekend treat! Unfortunately, because Amazon sucks so badly, it won’t download. It’s bought & paid for, it shows up on my screen with an X. And Amazon, of course, is no help. Update: I figured out a workaround, using two computers at the same time, in order to get it on my Kindle. NOT okay, Amazon.

I’ve been having weird, disturbing dreams lately. Which is weird, since that’s what Lesley experiences in GRAVE REACH, although the source of mine are something else.

There’s way too much idiocy online right now, and way too many idiots intentionally running the country into the ground. It has to stop. And the media needs to stop pandering to the Occupant’s hate rallies.

I blocked quite a few people yesterday. I don’t bother arguing with them. My energy needs to be spent working constructively, not destructively.

Oh, and here’s another volume in the Local Insult Directory:

Local: What did you do on Broadway?

Me: I worked in wardrobe. I was a dresser.

Local: Oh! Can you reupholster a chair for me?

Me: Um, what?

Local: You know, put new fabric on it.

Me: That’s props or set design, not wardrobe.

Local: Fabric’s fabric.

Me: It’s not.

Local: Besides, if I get a professional to do it, it’ll cost $750. But people work in theatre for free because they love it.

Me: Professionals work in theatre because they love making a living at it.

Local: No one gets PAID to do theatre.

Me: I did. For decades.

Local: You can’t expect money for things like this! It’s not real work.

Me: Why not? The professional upholsterer expects to be paid. Why shouldn’t a professional dresser or props person be paid?

Local: Well, you’re not very community-spirited, are you?

Me: I have a zero tolerance policy on grifters.

Bitch is lucky I didn’t slap her into the middle of next week. It’s so typical of the attitude around here. Now, this is a woman who’s never worked a day in her life (she lives off her husband’s money in his multi-million dollar oversized house and has a staff). She can afford to hire an upholsterer. But she wants a theatre person to work for free, because if someone in the theatre does it, it’s not “real work.” And why is working for free for a rich white woman who lives in a mansion considered working for the “community”?

Volunteering at the library or the food pantry or the domestic women’s shelter is working for the “community.” Not reupholstering a rich woman’s chair because she feels she’s entitled to free labor, and entitled to decide what constitutes “work.”

Before you say maybe they’re house-rich and cash-poor — no. Not the case. She only buys/wears designer labels and boasts about their trips to St. Bart’s.

I wish this was the exception around here. But it’s not.

Working on the article, GRAVE REACH, and my review this weekend. And, hopefully, getting better.

Have a great weekend. See you next week!

Thurs. Aug. 15, 2019: When You Have To Trust Your Instincts

Thursday, August 15, 2019
Full Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Saturn Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Sunny and pleasant

Never a dull moment.

Yesterday was fine with my client. Then, I drove to Eastham to pick up a wonderful little antique sewing chest. It was a nice ride there and back.

Tuesday night, I’d finally watched CAPTAIN MARVEL. There was a lot I loved about it. Too many prolonged fight sequences. But the humor was great, Brie Larson was great, and her scenes with Samuel L. Jackson were the best. Their chemistry was superb.

This morning, after a good session working on ELLA, I gave in and went to urgent care. They were great. It turns out, it was the right choice. My finger is infected, not just bruised. The doctor had to pierce it, drain it, dress it. I’m on antibiotics for the next 10 days. It will drain for a few days. Can’t be out in direct sunlight while I’m on them, either.

They were great, the first actual health care without drama I’ve had since I moved here. They are helping me jump through the insurance hoops. I’m not happy with my weight, but all my other vitals are excellent and much better than I expected. However, I was right to trust my instincts and go today. If I had waited much longer, it would have been worse.

I was in CVS waiting for the prescription (which was called in before the doctor started the drain) longer than the procedure at urgent care. Typical. But I got it. They are horse pills, not fun, but I manage.

If you haven’t read the latest Chapter of Fred’s saga over on Ink-Dipped Advice, you can do so here. I’d love your comments.

I have some LOIs to get out today, and then I’m turning my attention back to GRAVE REACH. In and around GRAVE REACH this weekend, I’ll be refinishing a table and the little sewing cabinet. And finishing up my article. AND finishing up a review.

It’s a relief to actually get something done about the injury. I don’t have much else of interest to say.

Although I had a great time in the #remotechat. We always exchange such wonderful ideas and resources. I’m so grateful for that group.

Back to the page. Looking forward to it.

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Tues. Aug. 13, 2019: Keep on Keeping On

Tuesday, Aug. 13, 2019
Waxing Moon
Jupiter DIRECT (As of Sunday)
Pluto Retrograde
Saturn Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde

Busy few days.

Got some stuff done at the library Friday morning, then went to the yoga studio. Class was packed (I usually can’t take that session). In fact, there was someone I hadn’t seen in about three years there.

I was a little too relaxed when I got out of yoga class. I still had a lot to do that day, and all I wanted to do was nap!

Friday afternoon was about housework and cooking. The downstairs is quite tidy now.

Saturday, I finished up some more food. We had company in the morning, from Greenwich, and a nice catch-up. I drove them to the ferry — they’re on their way to Nantucket. After years of summer rentals, they actually hope to buy something.

Read in the afternoon and evening, and percolated a bit on some stories that want to be told.

Heard about the Jeffrey Epstein “suicide.” Yeah, right. Just way too convenient, especially for the Narcissistic Sociopath. And Barr in charge of the investigation? What a joke. The whole thing is disgusting.

Finished reading a thriller trilogy. I absolutely loved the first book. I got ahead of the story a bit on the second book. It happened even more in the third book, and I anticipated the ending I hoped wouldn’t wind up the way it did. I was disappointed. I feel the author cheated his trio of protagonists (and his readers) from the ending they earned. While the first book was fantastic, the trilogy as a whole left me depressed and unsatisfied. It was a very male ending, meaning that it was what I expected from a male writer, and disappointed when it happened. It was what all those middle-aged male writers trying to be hip do to punish their characters (especially their female characters) and act like they’re creating great fiction. Would a female writer have made the same choices with that plot? Possibly, but most of the women writers in the genre I admire would have done it differently, I believe, and in a more satisfying way.

Also read a book by an author about whose work I have mixed feelings. I’ve read several of her books, and every one leaves me with mixed feelings. They’re a little too cutesy-wootsy for my taste. Her protagonists rely on being rescued by men too much, instead of saving themselves or the partners working together to survive . She’s a writer, but with such a limited vocabulary that she misuses words like “witch” — if you use “witch” to mean a nasty woman instead of a spell-caster, you’re knocked off my reading list. It’s insulting and careless. It’s bad writing. Also, in this particular book, she had characters who were supposedly involved in theatre. She might have gone to one community theatre production in her life, but she sure as hell didn’t do any research. She knows nothing about how theatre works and nothing about actors or tech people. Her tone in writing about them was condescending — along with not having done her research. I have one more book ordered via Commonwealth Catalog that I can’t cancel. I’ll try a few pages before I send it back. But I am DONE with her.

It was bound to happen sooner or later, but Saturday night into Sunday, I had a nightmare about a mass shooting. I’m not going to detail the dream here, but it unnerved me for the rest of the weekend. in my personal journal, I wrote about it in detail, and I intend to use bits of it in a new piece I’m developing. But I would have rather never had the dream in the first place. It was too vivid. Too many sensory details.

Worked on the article for Llewellyn. That will go out in a couple of days. Worked on GRAVE REACH. Worked on ELLA. It’s slowed down, and I have to figure out a few things to make this last third of the book work. Played with some ideas for DEATH OF A BROKEN MAN, which has a very broken (female) protagonist who relates to the dead body she trips over a little too much.

Getting some good work done on GRAVE REACH. I need to get this draft done this week and off to the editor, so we can go into galleys.

Playing with the first chapter of THE BARD’S LAMENT, which has to go into the back of GRAVE REACH.

Worked on the book I’m reviewing. I’m also reading the book for the #ReaderExpansionChallenge.

Need to spend more time on Ello this week.

Working on a couple more article pitches. They’re not quite where I want them in order to go out. But I hope to get them out this week.

I can’t seem to shake this lethargy and exhaustion. All I want to do is sleep, but I don’t feel refreshed when I wake up.

I had terrible allergy problems on Sunday with the ragweed and goldenrod coming into bloom. Constant sneezing, runny eyes. I finally broke down and took a Benedryl, which knocked me out and I slept for 11 hours. Felt a little better on Monday. Even non-drowsy anti-histamines knock me out.

Monday was fine onsite with a client, and I expect today and tomorrow will be challenging.

Monday afternoon’s meditation group was much-needed.

Back to the page.

 

Thurs. Aug. 8, 2019: Writing or Not Writing

Thursday, August 8, 2019
Waxing Moon
Jupiter Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Saturn Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Sunny, hot, humid

If you haven’t hopped over to Ink-Dipped Advice to read the post on Fred’s Interviews, as part of the ongoing freelance parable, hop on over.

There’s also an update on the garden.

Plodding along on both ELLA and GRAVE REACH. I’m happy with what’s happening in both of them; it’s just not happening in the latter quickly enough.

Onsite with a client was fine yesterday. Got a lot done.

The #RemoteChat was excellent. I have such fun with that group.

Two of the research books I ordered arrived (from two different sources). Unfortunately, one of them was the wrong book. I’d ordered a Caribbean cookbook and they sent a library discard Secret Service memoir. Alibris was a nightmare to deal with. I’m more annoyed with them than the actual bookstore, because Alibris kept trying to get me to create a new account in order to report it. No. Don’t force me to create a new account to report a mistake on an existing order. No. I contacted the bookstore directly, too. Mistakes happen, but don’t make me jump through hoops in order to fix them. We’ll see IF they respond, either one of them.

Several people on social media who call themselves “writers” are talking about how they’re not writing and how much freer they feel. We all need breaks, and I’m all for vacations, even when it comes to writing. But if you keep making excuses not to write, if you feel better when you’re not writing — maybe you’re not a writer. Maybe that’s not the creative outlet for you (or the profession for you). Maybe it’s time to hang up the keyboard and spend your time doing something you ENJOY. Maybe it’s time to stop wasting professionals’ time and expecting them to create your career FOR you (these individuals have also made unfair demands of professional, published writers in the past).

Friends of ours are visiting Saturday morning, on their way to Nantucket. They’re planning to buy a house there (after visiting for decades) and will spend more time in this neck of the woods. I’m looking forward to seeing them and catching up.

Decent morning’s writing this morning, on both ELLA and GRAVE REACH. Working on my article for Llewellyn, getting out a couple of article pitches and LOIs.

Spending some time this afternoon with a travel writer friend, catching up on his recent trip to Calgary, before he takes off for Japan. Then, I’ll take a look at another friend’s radio play, and work on some reading for review pieces.

Tomorrow, I plan to get some work done at the library in the morning, then yoga, then house cleaning and cooking in anticipation for our friends.

I also have some dealings with my elected officials this week into next week, to discuss the chaos and corruption and let them know how I feel about it and what I’d like to see done. Our elected officials can’t represent us if we don’t’ tell them where we stand on things.

A lot of the work I’m doing now is internal, which is not particularly interesting to write about or read about. Things will ramp up in the coming weeks, I’m sure.

In the meantime, stay safe, keep doing your creative work, stay kind, and don’t stay silent in the face of inhumanity.

 

Wed. Aug. 7, 2019: Ups and Irritations

Wednesday, August 7, 2019
Waxing Moon
Jupiter Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Saturn Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Who Know What the Weather Will Be Like?

I scheduled yesterday’s post on Monday afternoon, when we were promised a nice but humid day on Tuesday, and thunderstorms today. Of course, Tuesday morning by 8 AM, it was bucketing down. Hence, the weather line this morning (I’m scheduling this to post Tuesday afternoon).

Yes, I am once of those people who uses “hence” in everyday speech.

I was so excited by my Goddess Provisions box that arrived on Monday afternoon! It contained a singing bowl. I’ve wanted one for years. It’s small, but with a lovely tone. Now, of course, I have to learn how to work with it, but my friend is adept with them, and she will guide me. Spending time with it, practicing, like one would with any instrument, is part of it, I’m sure. Eventually, I want a whole set (and a set of crystal bowls), but I’m taking it slowly.

Meditation was great on Monday afternoon. We have such a great group. Got lots of compliments on the hair cut, too, at meditation, from my clients, at the library.

Had a typical local encounter at the library on Monday afternoon. I was telling the librarians how great UNMARRIAGEABLE is, and how much I loved the book. They hadn’t yet read it, but were interested.

An Old White Woman butted into the conversation. She looked at the cover and said, “Why would I want to read about dirty Pakistanis?”

“This book is beautiful and brilliant and clever and universal,” I said. “If you like Jane Austen, you’ll love it.”

She sniffed and said, “Jane Austen is overrated.”

“I can’t help that you’re both a racist and a barbarian,” I replied.

She stomped off. After all, how could she deny she was a racist after her initial remark? I’m sick and tired of the racism, and I’m sick and tired that the racists think it’s okay to behave this way — of course, they’re getting it from the Occupant.

Who, by the way, delivered a bland, meaningless, teleprompted speech on Monday, and then didn’t even have the basic decency to name the right town where the mass shooting happened in Ohio.

Mitch McConnell won’t call the Senate back from recess to pass legislation. He claims it’s because he fell and broke his shoulder. He was home in the same day. Wearing a sling for the shoulder doesn’t mean his brain can’t work and he can’t lead a vote. It’s all an excuse. Meanwhile, in the aftermath of the shootings, his campaign staff built a graveyard for programs like Social Security and for his opponent. Disgusting. Young white boys, of course. Boys, not men. Doesn’t matter how old they are chronologically, they will never grow beyond ill-behaved boys, especially with this type of encouragement.

Client work was challenging. Appointments after were fine.

Slowing down on ELLA — only two pages a day instead of four. But that’s okay, because the pace is picked up on GRAVE REACH, and that’s the one under serious deadline.

Client work today, then errands. Hoping for a productive upcoming four days.

Hop on over to Ink-Dipped Advice to see the latest chapter, where Fred interviews the potential writer candidates.

I’ve been doing an extra yoga session every night before bed, and that’s helping my back.

 

Tues. Aug. 6, 2019: Life And . . .

Tuesday, August 6, 2019
Waxing Moon
Jupiter Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Saturn Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Hot and humid

It’s been nearly a week since I blogged about daily life. I needed the break.

Today is Lucy’s first anniversary since she came to live with us. She’s grown from being a shy, terrified cat into a friendly, inquisitive lovebug. She makes every day better.

Late last week, I struggled with stress and motivation. My client kept telling me the check was mailed; it kept not arriving. It finally got here yesterday, just as I was getting ready to send a second invoice with a late fee. I’ve already cut this client too many breaks: didn’t require a deposit due to past work together; didn’t charge when one of the venues to which I uploaded the information changed and did it on my own time; gave 5 extra days past the 30 days before sending the invoice with the late fee. Needles to say, I won’t be cutting the client ANY breaks in the future. Deposit up front, late fee on the day it’s late. I no longer trust this client. That it’s typical of local clients doesn’t change the fact that it is unacceptable.

Work on both ELLA and GRAVE REACH was shaky. Had an idea that combined other ideas with which I’ve played for several years. Made some notes, but it’s the type of piece that won’t be done much faster than a page or two a day. I’m trying to combine themes from several other projects that haven’t quite worked. It’s percolating, but not really ready to be written yet, which is fine, since there’s plenty that HAS to be written at this point.

I’m having a lot of fun with the Upbeat Authors posts this month about inspiration. I’m playing with the #31Prompts posts, and it will probably take me a couple of years to write the projects inspired by them all. Having fun with the serial parable I’m doing on Ink-Dipped Advice.

Did house and hearth stuff. Have some worries on the home front, but we’ll see what happens.

Had a good meeting with a potential new client. I definitely have the skills and versatility they need, but it depends if they want versatility and skill, or merely a drone.

Went to a sound bath at the yoga studio on Friday night, which was good, although my back was giving me trouble.

Got my hair cut, finally, on Saturday. A totally different style than I’ve ever had, and it looks good. Fun, flirty, professional, a little retro. It goes with the way my hair naturally waves at this point (considering it used to be stick straight). It feels much, much better. Make-up updated, wardrobe freshened, new hair. Getting the changes started.

My hairdresser was an artist-turned-hair-art guy, and his boyfriend is an aspiring YA writer, studying for his MA. I reeled off a bunch of local writing resources. I always prefer to talk about my stylist than myself when getting my hair done. I’m not one to gossip about myself in the chair.

Read Soniah Kamal’s UNMARRIAGEABLE. Wow, is that a good book! Absolutely loved it. Will shelve it with the set of Jane Austen from my grandmother, and re-read it often. Soniah asked for a photograph of the shelf. Once I dust and light it properly so it photographs well, I’ll do it!

Started the book I’m reading for review. Started the next radio play, tentatively called “A Pier-less Crime.” It’s the next Frieda/Lazarus comedy.

Delved into art books for both the month of Upbeat Author posts on inspiration and the Canaletto play. Started re-Feng Shui-ing some of the house. Did more research on Caribbean recipes to incorporate into my writing. On the flip side of that, also made some more smoked trout pate, because it’s a good cool dish to eat on a hot day. And we had tiramisu, although I bought that. I’m not confidant enough to try making it — YET.

Read a couple of cozies (from two different series) by an author who always leaves me with mixed feelings about her work. There’s a lot of charm and warm detail. But her protagonists are too dependent on the men in their lives, cry too much, repeatedly get “tired” as a plot device to miss important information, and are always rescued by men during the climactic sequence instead of participating in their own survival.

Focused mostly on writing and reading on Sunday. I’m reading a mystery by a Spanish writer. Again, so different from the way US/British/Australian mysteries are structured. So interesting. With an unusual pair of detectives. I also read THE ABOMINATION by Jonathan Holt, set in contemporary Venice, dealing with the war crimes, especially against women, when Yugoslavia was split up. I couldn’t put it down. It’s a huge book, and I read it in one day.

Worked on my Llewellyn article, the play, GRAVE REACH.

Angry and heartbroken over the shootings in El Paso and Ohio. The Narcissistic Sociopath dances with glee that he can incite such violence, and his Russian handlers are delighted. The corruption in this administration is astonishing, although it’s been building since the Reagan years. None of this is a surprise. The lack of will to change it is disgusting.

Yesterday, had to go into my client’s early, so someone would be there to receive a shipment. Challenging day.

Meditation was much-needed.

But Sunday and Monday were good writing days, and this morning was, too. Onsite with a client for most of the day, before other appointments. Getting out some article pitches this week that I hope will hit their marks and create some additional income.

Back to the page.

Wed. July 31, 2019: Learning, Growing, Planning

Wednesday, July 31, 2019
New Moon
Jupiter Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Saturn Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Mercury goes DIRECT today (thank goodness) — but it’s almost midnight by the time it does so
Hot, humid, storms in the evening

I don’t do well in this heat and humidity. I’m like the cats — all I want to do is lie around and do nothing.

Hop on over to Ink-Dipped Advice to see the second chapter of Fred’s adventures trying to hire a writer for his small business.

Meditation was great on Monday afternoon. A big group, and a great session.

I’m reading Jean Claude Izzo’s Marseilles trilogy. It’s quite wonderful. His tone reminds me a bit of Ron MacLean’s in HEADLONG.

I’m learning a lot from reading these international novels in translation. Not books by Americans set overseas, but books by writers about their own countries. The tone, the pace, the structure is very different from what we consider the “formula” for the genre, and it works.

I hope my little tiny publisher grows to the point where it can sell/negotiate international rights. I already know my plays do better in the UK and Australia than in the US; my friends in France, Spain, and Germany think my books would do well there, if translated properly.

Up early on Tuesday. Great session on ELLA, mediocre one on GRAVE REACH, but I’m determined to get back into its groove. I need to get it out to my editor soon. Fortunately, THE BARD’S LAMENT and DEADLY GROVE are properly percolating, so I hope not to get behind on those. Although I have to jump right back into the next round of revisions for BALTHAZAAR and then for DHARMA when GRAVE REACH goes out.

I’ve figured out where I want the next two ELLA books to go (it was always meant to be a trilogy), and how to make each book stand alone, while the three will be satisfying together. After that, I can decide if I want to write more ELLA books, or if I’ve said everything I have to say. I’m nearly at the two thirds point with ELLA. It’s been fun to write steadily, but not have a daily quota or a deadline on it.

My friend was pleased with the blurb I wrote for his book. I’m glad; it’s a lovely book and deserves to do well.

Still trying to pull myself out of the mire of discouragement. Client work yesterday was challenging, and will be so today. I’m working on my article for Llewellyn — that will probably go out early next week. I’m polishing some pitches. They’re taking longer than I expected, but I’d rather do them well than rush them and alienate a potential new-to-me editor.

Tomorrow is Lammas, one of the biggest days in my personal calendar. I’m trying to decide if I want to take a few days to disconnect and focus on writing, yoga, meditation, and the changes I’m trying to make.

Next Monday, the upbeat authors posts start on inspiration for the month of August. Believe me, I have plenty to say about that!

Have a lovely day. If I do decide to take a break, also have a lovely weekend as we slide into August.

 

Tues. July 30, 2019: Trying to Keep Steady

Tuesday, July 30, 2019
Dark Moon
Jupiter Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Saturn Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Mercury Retrograde
Hot and humid

I did not have a particularly productive weekend. I wasn’t feeling well. Wrists, shoulders, hips, lower back, knees, all in pain. It was difficult to write.

I got a little bit done on ELLA. Not enough done on GRAVE REACH, and I feel like I’m losing the thread of it again. The deadline looms over me, so I have to get it done. Dig deeper and get it done.

But there was nothing in the tank this weekend.

I managed to get some grocery shopping done, and the recycling out to the dump. Painted some shells. Oiled a small table I picked up. Rearranged some stuff in the living room. Went through a box marked “trinkets” of things that were important to me about twenty years ago. At first, everything looked shabby and sad. Later, as I took each piece out and dealt with it, I decided what to keep and integrate, what to give away, what to toss.

Still have many, many more boxes to go and am running out of time.

We have a fisher on the property. I’m pretty welcoming to wildlife, but not fishers. They are vicious, and this one has an attitude. I don’t want him decimating our wildlife in the yard, or attacking Tessa. I’m not letting Tessa out, and she is angry with me. But I can’t risk her getting killed.

Fisher is part of the weasel family, and weasel is about stealth and paying close attention, so that is what I will do in the upcoming cycle.

While I try to figure out how to encourage him to move on.

Feeling very discouraged in general, and worn down.

But I managed to write the blurb for my friend’s book, which went off yesterday.

I’m still trying to get paid by that client. I thought this one was the exception to the local client rule around here. I was wrong. I’ll send another invoice on Friday, with the late fee. I partially blame myself — because of previous good experience with this client, I waived the partial fee up front. That won’t happen again.

Yesterday was the anniversary of my father’s death. He’s been out of my life longer than he was in it, but it’s still difficult. I did a “happy memories” ceremony for him last night.

The heat and humidity were high yesterday, and will be so again today. I don’t do well in that, either. Work with the client is off-the-charts stressful this week and next week, and then, hopefully, we can have some equilibrium. But yesterday went well, so I hope today and tomorrow will be the same.

All I can do is keep pushing through, and making adjustments as best I can, work toward making the necessary changes. But it’s difficult, disheartening, and slow.

Back to the page.

Published in: on July 30, 2019 at 6:23 am  Leave a Comment  
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Fri. July 26, 2019: Figure, Configure, Reconfigure & Unethical Businesses Who Demand Phone Numbers

Friday, July 26, 2019
Waning Moon
Jupiter Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Saturn Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Mercury Retrograde
Sunny and pleasant

For some reason, I feel like one of those big steamrollers went right over top of me! I’m exhausted,physically and emotionally. I’m trying to solve those reasons, and change what needs to be changed, but it doesn’t happen in a day. Heck, it’s been taking me months, and certainly months longer than I’d hoped. But I’ll get there.

Got a little bit of writing done yesterday. Nowhere near enough. I lost the momentum I had on GRAVE REACH, and I’m fighting to get it back. ELLA has slowed down, but at least it’s putt-putting along. Of course it is, because that’s the piece that’s not on deadline.

Conferences with my cover artist and editor yesterday. The cover artist has roughed out the next two Coventina Circle books — THE BARD’S LAMENT (Sylvie’s book) and DEADLY GROVE (Diana’s book). They are kind of cool. I like the black and gray tones on all the Coventina Circle covers, with the yellow/orange lettering.

We’re still going back and forth on the Justice By Harpy books, which is just fine, since they are quite a way down the road. I am being difficult about them. I have a very clear idea of what I want, which my editor and publisher agree will be striking, but how to make it happen, how to layer and color, is a challenge. We may just bring in a painter to do small paintings of the three and then photograph or scan the paintings. Book 1 is close to ready to go into production, but I’m behind on Books 2 & 3, and we want all three ready to release quickly. And we’re discussing the Gambit Colony covers for the first six books.

I’m so lucky that my publisher allows so much input.

Took my mom to the doctor in the afternoon. He’s pleased with her progress. Had to take her over to Osterville for a blood test, only they were closed by the time we got there (it would have been nice to know they were closed before we left the doctor’s office).

Read on the deck in the afternoon, enjoying the yard. Worked on some article pitches I plan to send out early next week. I got some interesting leads, and I’m spinning ideas.

Still trying to chase down the freelance payment from that job I did over a month ago.

Some yahoo from TruGreen scared the bejesus out of us yesterday by pounding on the door like the FBI doing a raid. And then launched into a diatribe on how bad my yard was with all the weeds and how I “had” to pay him to fix it. WTF? Seriously? Why the hell would you dumbass think I would ever, EVER do business with you when you come to my house and try to intimidate me into hiring you? Especially since I have an organic lawn and every so-called “weed” is something that is there on purpose as a pollinator or because it’s good for the soil. TruGreen is getting SUCH a letter from me. I rarely say “never”, but I can say I will NEVER do business with TruGreen again, and the next time this jerk shows up and tries to intimidate me, I’m going to kick him in the nuts and then call the cops.

This morning, I was up early. Got a little bit of work done on ELLA. I really need to type up the chapters written in longhand, because I’m losing some threads in this draft.

Took my mom to the blood test. They were open this time, and it was early.

Then, headed to Stop & Shop and Trader Joe’s for grocery shopping, and then Staples. Because notebooks are on sale. I bought 16 spiral bound and 4 composition books, for a grand total of SIX BUCKS.

As a writer, this is one of my favorite times of the year. The school supplies go on sale.

I plan to spend the weekend reading, writing ELLA and GRAVE REACH, roughing out my article for Llewellyn, and maybe starting to shape the opening scene of the play on Canaletto’s sisters. The three Canaletto books I hunted down and ordered because I kept taking them out of the library arrived, and that will make the writing of the play so much easier.

I’m still trying to figure out the plot of the Brighton Pier radio play. I have sounds and jokes, but the plot is weak so far.

I ordered from Chewy this morning — cat food and cat litter. I refuse to shop at Petmart anymore, for multiple reasons. I’ve heard good things about them, but putting the order through was a major PITA. Let’s hope the rest of the customer service experience is better, or it will be a one-and-done.

I also hope to clear out some boxes from the basement. I also have to take the recycling in tomorrow. It’s getting a little crowded.

For the moment, though, back to the page.

Have a lovely weekend!

Tues. July 23, 2019: Physical Manifestations?

Tuesday, July 23, 2019
Waning Moon
Jupiter Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Saturn Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Mercury Retrograde
Rainy, hot, humid

The weekend was brutally hot. It was bad. Difficult to get anything done.

I also fretted and stressed all weekend about this week with one of my clients, which I knew would be off-the-charts stressful. It’s easy to say “don’t think about it” or “detach” — but it doesn’t work that way, at least not for me.

I worked hard in the early mornings (usually up by four) to get the fans going and cool down the place. I had to shut everything by 7 AM, and then keep fans going inside. The humidity and lack of breeze kept everything heavy and oppressive.

Of course, there were power outages. Why should Eversource actually provide the services for which they exist and overcharge?

Read a lot. Jean-Luc Bannalec’s THE MISSING CORPSE, set in Brittany, which was interesting. The way the book is structured is so different from the way an American or British or Australian mystery is constructed.

Re-read Susan Cheever’s AMERICAN BLOOMSBURY, which I enjoyed even more this time around.

Tried to stay quiet and cool, and keep the cats the same.

I’d done some research on Friday about possible article markets, and I’m working on pitches. I hope to get at least some of them out this week.

The 2020 SPELL-A-DAY ALMANAC author copies arrived. They look wonderful! My work is in there under the Cerridwen Iris Shea byline. I’ll have to do some updates on that website, and on the blog.

I’m still waiting for payment for a freelance job for a local client I did nearly a month ago. It was invoiced on July 1. On July 15, the client apologized for the delay and promised to take care of it. It’s still not here. That is not okay. That money is marked for specific bills that need to be paid.

I’m sick of the attitude in this area that paying for work is optional. That, along with the attitude of hiring the cheapest person who is also the least threatening, instead of the best person for the job has gotten real old real fast.

I got out some LOIs. There was a communications job at a theatre in Maine that looked interesting. Unfortunately, instead of accepting a resume and letter, they demand filling out a specific application that is one of the most insulting things I’ve ever read. Some of the questions are also now illegal. So I’m not even going to pitch to them.

I had to go onsite at my client’s early yesterday and stay late. Same today. It went better than expected, but was still a tough day.

I’m having terrible trouble with my back. Every movement causes pain. I’m wondering if my frustrations from the past few weeks are manifesting in this particular type of “stuck” pain.

Meditation was much needed.

Between the heat and the stress, I’ve lost some of the momentum on GRAVE REACH. I hope to regain it in the next few days.

Awakened last night by tornado alerts. Got things together in case we had to go down to the basement. Lots of thunder and lightning, but it passed.

Back to the page.

Published in: on July 23, 2019 at 8:48 am  Comments Off on Tues. July 23, 2019: Physical Manifestations?  
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